Nene on brink of making decision? [UPDATED]

According to CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger, the Nuggets are awaiting word from Nene on whether he’ll accept New Jersey’s contract offer or re-sign with Denver. Additionally, Berger is reporting that Marreese Speights continues to be of interest to the Nuggets regardless of where Nene ends up. Philadelphia 76ers beat writer, Kate Fagan, insists that the Nuggets are “definitely in the mix” for Speights.

Before Nuggets fans overreact both negatively and positively in regards to Speights, keep in mind that, although talented, he has been plagued with both injuries and attitude problems over his brief three-year career. Ever since Doug Collins became the head coach of the 76ers, he and Speights have continuously clashed which in all likelyhood is the primary reason for Speights potential departure. Nevertheless, Speights is still seen as someone who possesses a solid amount of talent among those in 76ers circles. If he can adjust his mentality, which a change of scenery might induce, maybe he would be well worth a future second-round pick. Another thing to keep in mind is that Speights will become a restricted free agent at the end of the 2011-12 campaign, therefore, should he blossom while with the Nuggets, Denver would then have the opportunity to match whatever offer he recieves on the free market, insuring his services remain in the Mile High City for the foreseeable future.

My thoughts: Honestly, I’m not sure how ready I am for another “if he could just…” type of player. If he had problems with Doug Collins and his defensive impetus, I can’t imagine he’ll be much better with Karl. Though a second-round draft picks seems harmless, that would then be two in the last six months that we’ve now handed out. I know, I know, second-round picks are virtually worthless in many fan’s eyes, but the fact remains, there’s still talent to be hand in the latter parts of the draft. For example, how many Nuggets fans were clamoring for the likes of Josh Selby, Jeremy Tyler and Charles Jenkins this past year? Wouldn’t it have been nice to land one of those guys without having to give something up in return? I guess more than anything, I just have reservations about players who struggle with defense, shot selection and maintaining a good relationship with a demanding head coach. Yes, I was one of the biggest J.R. supporters during his time in Denver, but J.R. was different. His athleticism, 3-point shooting and seemingly endless amount untapped potential kept Nuggets fans everywhere coming back for more. Speights just isn’t in that category, and not only that, Collins doesn’t exactly seem to be the type of disdainful coach that Karl was towards his players.

As for Nene, we’ll just have to wait and see. It’s hard to imagine him turning down the Nets offer unless Denver goes all in and lends him a max-contract, which would definitely be tough to swallow. I guess at this point in time it might be wise to root for Dwight Howard landing in Jersey and Marc Gasol landing in Houston as both franchises would then likely back off tremendously in their pursuit of the 6-11 Brazilian big man.

[UPDATE: According to Sam Amick, four-year forward out of the University of Missouri, DeMarre Carroll, has signed a one-year deal with Denver. Carroll is 6-foot-8 and 25 years old. He was a standout in college receiving First-Team Big 12 honors on the court as well as academically. He also won the Big 12 Tournament MVP award in 2009 after leading his team to the title for the first time in 16 years. He also led Missouri to an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. After being drafted No. 27 overall by the Grizzlies in 2009, Carroll never really panned out. He was assigned to the D-League before being recalled last season in order to be traded to the Rockets, who then waived him in April.]

  • Isaac

    I like the ending to this post. As for Speights I don’t know that we need guys on this team that aren’t going to be team first. Hopefully Howard goes so we can atleast offer Nene a deal more in his worth range. Which I believe to be around 5 years 55-65 million. Thanks again though for the information, Kalen.

  • Ernie

    What would a Max deal to Nene look like? I know it is lower than in the past because he isn’t a first team all NBA or anything like that, and I think those things matter now. I assume the amnesty rule would not apply to him because of the timing.

    Also I would think if the Nets sign Howard that it would be MORE likely that Nene signs there. He has said he wants to win, how would that happen if he goes to a mediocre Nets team without Dwight Howard?

    Finally my sense is that Nene is leaving. Why would he wait on signing here for other trades to happen? It’s not like NBA training camp is the same grind as NFL camp. Unless the Nugs are witholding their best offer until all the other teams make their bids.

    • http://nugznazty.wordpress.com/ Owen

      I can’t really imagine the nets would have enough cap space to take on DHow and Nene. I’m almost surprised with how many heavier contracts we have coming off the books we aren’t making a max offer at Nene. There won’t be a better player to come into free agency that will want to play in Denver. Do I think he’s worth max money? Not generally, but the thin amount of proven big men has been slim.

      Has there been any Kris Humphries (Mr. Kardashian) talk? He averaged 10/10 on limited minutes, 14/14 in months where he had real minutes. That would would fill the Nene gap plus a little. He attacks hard, like really hard.

  • Ricardo

    I don’t know if the nuggets should get Speights, if he had problems with Doug Collins, he’s more than likely going to have problems with Karl too. I think we should be looking for a starting-caliber player to start at power forward, just in case Nene leaves.

  • DH

    Like I’ve said before, the only thing I worry about with Speights is that he might take playing time away from the other young bigs we are trying to develop… Moz, Koufos, Faried. I don’t think we need another project, especially one who might bring attitude problems with him.

    I wonder if the Nugs are interested in him because he’s low risk / high reward (low cost, some upside) or if it’s an indication that they are getting ready to amnesty Harrington? It’s curious that they might still want Speights even if Nene returns.

  • Peter

    I think trading a 2nd round pick for Speights would be a great move. It’s not like we are some dynasty and he’s going to come in and ruin the chemistry. It’s a low risk move, the nuggets hate draft picks anyway. This situation reminds me of when we traded for another player that was buried on someone else’s bench, Aaron Aflallo. Now i know the difference is that there is some concern about Speight’s mentality and maturity, but he’s probably eager to get a fresh start with a new team. Worst case scenario we just cut or trade him and all we lose is a 2nd round pick.

  • Eddi0

    Not really sure what the Nugs are doing but the beginning of the season is about 2 wks away and we don’t have Afflalo re-signed yet. Nene is a lost cause, paying 15-17M/yr for him is ridiculous…let someone else overpay for him. He’s about a 12-13M/yr guy tops. I, for one, would like us to go after Kris Humphries. We’ve got depth at center but not a starting PF who can block shots and rebound. That kid can do it all…what are Nugs waiting for? Other teams to pick all the good players? We’re way under the cap, just renounce the rights to Kmart and JSmith.

    • Ricardo

      I agree, the nuggets could trade Nene to the Nets for Kris Humphries. I think that would solve the Nuggets problems quickly after losing Nene.

  • Coxy

    We should just invest in shit trucks on shorts contracts and try land the number 1 pick in this huge draft class and go from there

    • aussienuggsfan

      I think so too. Why overpay nene just to be a 7th seed. Being mediocre is the worst thing to be. I even think we should trade someone like a gallinari for a draft pick. Surely someone like the raptors would bite at that.

      • Ricardo

        I wouldn’t trade Gallinari anywhere. He is one of the best three-point shooters in the league and his height makes it harder for other small forwards to defend.

        • Tebowtime

          Chandler is better defensively and has a higher ceiling and probably contrary to popular belief he should be our sf going foward. That being said we shouldn’t trade gallo , well not yet, he should get the whole season to showcase himself and depending on this season he can either take the starting spot or be used as trade bait ahead of one of the strongest drafts in recent history. I don’t think anyone should be locked into the opinion he is no good nor that he is the next dirk

  • miguel

    I think the nuggets should trade for speights even if they keep nene.. speights got some talent and if denver can get him for a pack of gum(second round pick) it would be great, i dont think there are alot of second rounders on the NBA.. I would trade for him right away.

  • Adam

    Bombs away is what I say. Nene lacks that killer instinct, sign and trade Nene for Kris Humphries. Then, we will have a 1st round draft pick, will be under the cap, and be locked and loaded for next season. Under no circumstances should you get rid of Gallinari.

  • gk4prez

    At some point, I hope that the Nuggets will attempt to go after someone other than a scrub.

    Nene has been my favorite player on the team since his rookie year, and I don’t even want the Nuggets to bring him back at this point. Stop kissing his back side and move on already.

    • gk4prez

      For a big man, Speights is good from the free throw line. He is right at 75% for his career.

  • gk4prez
  • allen

    I agree totally with what peter said. Speights could be the same scenario we saw with afflalo a few years back and who lots of teams want him now. Remember we got afflalo for a second round pick also.. the guy said they should trade gallinari is just stupid, he dont even what he’s talking about, and is obiously not a fan of the nuggets.

  • Afflalo6

    I think gallo is descent but overrated and lacks killer instinct. Not sure bout a trade but if you can get a really good deal I wouldn’t call him untouchable. Speights is a low risk high reward deal , a second round pick? A huge steal

  • Tommy4daNuggz4ever

    RT @ESPNSteinLine: ESPN sources: Nene and Nuggets reach terms on five-year, $67 million deal